A recent exhibition of photographer Henry Wessel's work at the San Francisco Museum of Art gave me a great deal to think about. Wessel's subtly humorous observation of California landscape and architecture is well known; in the tradition of Robert Frank, Gary Winogrand, and Lee Friedlander, his black-and-white prints gracefully capture the spontaneous and startling beauty in the everyday. Compared to Wessel's other work, this piece stands apart by observing similarity rather than recording a unique moment in time. The rhythmic repetition of 40 small, similarly bland homes against sunny blue-sky backgrounds, photographed straight-on and identically framed, has a safe, soothing quality.
The presentation suggests an easy way to display art in the home. Any group of photos with similar subject matter would work, and the grid system is flexible for as many images and configurations as you want. A postcard collection would look fantastic displayed this way, or it could become an ongoing project for vacation photos, if you snap a similar shot for the collection each time you take a trip.
The key is to keep the image scale and vantage point and the subject matter as identical as possible, and keep the frames neutral and unobtrusive. It wouldn't hurt to be a little neurotically precise in spacing and hanging the art, either. —Imitates Life
Read a review of the Henry Wessel exhibit
Henry Wessel: California and the West, Odd Photos, Las Vegas , Real Estate Photographs, and Night Walk by Sandra Phillips (sfmoma.stores.yahoo.net/henrywessel.html)
Night Walk by Henry Wessel with Claudine Ise, and David Wing (http://www.amazon.com/Night-Walk-Claudine-Ise/dp/0963078577/ref=sr_1_3/002-5456333-5536016?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178136013&sr=1-3)